This post may contain affiliate links. Please review our Disclosure Policy for details.
You probably feel like you’re the only twin mom without 6 full-time helpers (thanks, Beyonce), but, the truth is, there are a lot of moms out there raising twins without extra help. And most of them are still sane. I hope.
Personally, I spent about 14 hours a day alone with my now two-year-old twins from the time they were a week old. My husband is a medical student, we don’t have family nearby, and our student-family budget doesn’t allow for hiring childcare help. So that’s that. Looking back over the last couple of years, I realized there were a few things I did that made raising twins without extra help not only possible, but also somewhat enjoyable.
A Budget-Friendly Guide to Raising Twins Without Extra Help
If you’re currently pregnant, register for the right items (and hang in there!)
If I had known then what I know now, my twin baby registry would have looked completely different. There are so many items you can register for that make raising twins without extra help so much easier. The good news is you get to benefit from my mistakes! Here is my twin mom fantasy baby registry.
Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership.
It’s true that this isn’t totally free, but an Amazon Prime membership is a lifesaver for twin moms who don’t have help with grocery shopping. You can order all the big, bulky essentials like diapers, toilet paper and paper towels, and have them delivered directly to your door step. Plus, you get Prime instant video, too.
Not sure you want to make the investment? Check out this Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial!
Cook a lot of vegetarian slow cooker meals.
It’s like my twins can sense when my hands are covered in raw chicken juice. They do terrible things. This is why I’m such a huge fan of vegetarian meals. Narrow the recipes down to things that can be dumped into a slow cooker, and you’ve got the ultimate twin mom meal planning solution. There are a lot of hearty recipes out there that don’t even “feel” vegetarian!
Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian slow cooker meals:
Shower at night.
Let’s be honest. Trying to shower while twins are “napping” totally sucks. Why? Because (A) it’s stressful to step out of the shower and frantically dry off and dress while listening to a screaming baby, and (B) it’s nice to do something besides shower during that 20 minutes a day they both sleep peacefully at the same time. Save yourself the stress and shower after they go to bed at night.
Consider a sexy mom-bob haircut.
If you’re attached to your hair and have had long locks all of your life, then for the love of God don’t do this. However, if you’re not ultra afraid of shorter hair, now is the perfect time to give a cute bob a try. I went about 90 days straight wearing a nasty wet bun on top of my head before I realized that shorter hair would be a better option. Don’t hit up the local walk-in joint for this haircut. Find a well-reviewed stylist in your area and bring lots of pictures of the style you like. You can check out my favorite (and no-so-favorite) bobs on Pinterest.
Run the dishwasher before bed.
You might end up emptying it right before you reload it, but that’s okay. Run the dishwasher at the end of the day and you’ll never encounter the dreaded “we’re out of clean spoons and bottles” scenario. When you’re raising twins without extra help, it’s always the little things that create the most stress.
Don’t keep anything but the cribs in the nursery.
I know. Twin nurseries are the cutest, but they’re also not very useful. According to new American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, the babies aren’t even supposed to sleep in a nursery at night. Plus, it’s not very efficient to keep all the baby essentials in a separate room. After a few weeks, we didn’t keep anything in there except for their cribs–and it was so much less exhausting. Check out 5 Things You Shouldn’t Keep In Your Baby’s Nursery for more details.
Breastfeed if you can.
Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out, but when you don’t have someone around to help with feeding, it’s my experience that breastfeeding is actually easier than bottle-feeding. To learn more about how bottle-feeding can be more challenging than breastfeeding, read 5 Things to Know Before You Stop Breastfeeding Twins.
Also, I discovered this awesome YouTube video that demonstrates in detail how to tandem nurse twins without help. (It’s not my video, but it’s the same technique that worked for me!)
Does breastfeeding newborns for 8-12 hours a day get pretty boring? YES. Check out Why You SHOULD Watch TV While Breastfeeding to learn how to watch the best shows for free.
Childproof like a mother f . . . well, like a mother.
This won’t apply until your twins are mobile, but you’ll have to do some serious child-proofing if you ever want to relax again. I’m not talking about locking the cabinets and blocking the outlets. We’re twin moms. We have to go further. Check out my list of Child-Proofing Tips That Just Might Save Your Sanity to get the details.
Invest in practical strollers.
As a twin mom on a budget, I understand the dream of finding that one amazing stroller that serves every purpose. Unfortunately, you’ve got a better chance of time-traveling through magical stones to meet a sexy Scotsman. (Outlander, anyone?)
I highly recommend a Double Snap N Go Stroller to use with the baby carriers, and a Chicco Echo Twin Umbrella stroller when your babies switch to car seats without bases. These are my go-to errand running strollers.
Also looking for a jogging/walking stroller? Check out How to Find the Best Twin Jogging Stroller with any Budget.
Do 1-3 loads of laundry each day.
No one is saying you have to fold it all, but this is a good habit to start. Sure, your family might be digging clean underwear out of the dryer, but the important part is EVERYONE WILL HAVE CLEAN UNDERWEAR.
Join a gym (even if you don’t exercise).
You know what they have at gyms besides workout equipment? Showers. And people. And childcare. Nobody cares if you actually workout, so feel free to hang out in the hot tub, chat with the friendly staff, have a nice hot shower, and–gasp–blow dry your hair and do your makeup.
My membership costs about $100 a month and it’s totally worth it. All gyms are different and all gym daycare centers are different, so do your research and wait until you’re comfortable that your twins are old enough to be in that environment.
Exercise is good, too. Running seemed to be the best fit for me before I was able to start the gym. Plus, I’m in better shape now than I was before I had twins. You can read more about that here.
Stock up on bottled water.
At least during the newborn period. It may seem silly, but it’s a lot easier to grab a bottle than it is to pour a glass when you’re holding two babies. And you need water. To live and stuff.
Whew! I know that was a lot of information, but it’s every tip I could think of that’s eased the stress of raising twins without extra help. I sincerely hope you try some (or all!) of these ideas and let me know if they’ve helped you. Also, please comment with any tips you would like to share!
Looking for some extra support or feel like you have a lot to share on this subject? Come join the (newly established) Twin Mom Tips and Tricks Facebook group! Let’s create a supportive community where twin moms can asks questions and share what they know.
You might also like: